Grief, The Dead Poets Society and Raising Boys


The hangover of grief continues long past the next morning and today, like so many others, I wake  up in sorrow knowing there is no Robin William in the world.  I’ve played the trailer from Dead Poets Society once again and I know that this is the kind of world to say yes to, time and time again.


Mr. John Keating’s world is a world I would have been terrified of when I was in high school- and as a matter of fact, yes, a girls only high school, rather proper, no swearing please. Now, decades and decades past high school, I only wish there had been a John Keating in my world.

What did we — what do we — love about Robin Williams?  Certainly, his skill, his intelligene, his talents.  Yet there was much more.  I think what we sawin him, and could not properly articulate until now, was not his extreme talent, but his extreme vulnerability and his caring. In all his work, and right now I have an images of a chagrined yet mischievious Mork, clashing with a spinning- dervish out-of-control foul-mouthed rant on a late night show in my mind- in all his work, he opened up his heart to us all.  It was always astonishing, although sometimes it wasn’t pretty, to watch Robin Williams. That raw humanity- ramped up with his extraordinary gifts, talent and heart, made Robin Williams a true tour de force…not the publicist’s kind…the authentic kind.  And without that force in the world, today seems smaller.  


Would I have wished Mr. John Keating in my son’s high school world?  Hell yeah.  


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